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Film titles link to Hamersly Library catalog for availability status and other information. More film details, including genre and popularity, courtesy of The Internet Movie Database and linked with this icon: Need help getting the subtitles?
PLEASE NOTE: Films in which French is the original language (not simply available via subtitles) are listed first in descending chronological order.
On January 7th, 2015, the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was the first target in a series of deadly terrorist attacks. This new documentary pays tribute to the victims and explores the resulting aftermath of a changed nation.
Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.
Arman is 33 and ready to make a change, starting with a run in the park. When he literally bumps into Amélie - slightly cynical but nevertheless lovely - on the jogging path, he's dead-set on making a connection with her.
Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of the top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
Documentary on École Polytechnique de Montréal, one year after the tragedy that claimed the lives of 14 students in 1989. Nathalie Provost, a survivor of the shooting, and others too, talk about drama and feminism, racism and sexism, society's difficulties in accepting differences. And especially of the life which continues beyond December 6th.
Amélie is a young woman who had a decidedly unusual childhood; misdiagnosed with an unusual heart condition, Amélie didn't attend school with other children, but spent most of her time in her room, where she developed a keen imagination and an active fantasy life. Despite all this, Amélie has grown into a healthy and beautiful young woman who works in a cafe and has a whimsical, romantic nature. She decides to step into the lives of others around her to help them out.
Three French documentaries on the life of Antonin Artaud--a poet, actor, director, playwright, philosopher, visionary, and madman that remains one of the most influential figures of 20th century art, theatre, and cinema
A tale of a downward spiraling gay gigolo, struggling to cope with his advancing age, poverty, loneliness, writers block, and the increasing complications of HIV disease. Ultimately, he must face his inner demons in order to be free of them.
Melé, a bar singer, and her unemployed husband Chaka are on the verge of breaking up. In the courtyard of the house they share with other families in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, African civil society representatives have taken proceedings against such international financial institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, whom they blame for Africa's woes. As numerous trial witnesses air bracing indictments against the multinational economic machinery that haunts them, life in the courtyard presses forward.
Tells the fable of the kindly beast and the self-sacrificing beauty whose love releases the prince in him. Contains such visual displays as tears that become real diamonds and walls that grow arms to light Beauty's path through the castle of the Beast.
A bicyclist is kidnapped from the Tour de France by mysterious gangsters; his grandmother travels to the city of Belleville (which has a sardonic version of the Statue of Liberty in its harbor), where she tracks him down with the help of a musical trio gone to seed, the Belleville Triplets.
Bob the gambler and his friends learn that the Deauville Casino expects to pull in 800 million francs. On the night of the heist Bob plays the casino tables until the appointed time. Before the dawn breaks, some of the men and women will win, some will lose, and some will die
Martin Ward and David Bouchard couldn't be more different: one speaks English and is from Toronto, and the other is a francophone from Quebec. One obeys the law, the other makes his own. When they are forced to work together on an investigation whose geographic jurisdiction is an mysterious as the motive of the crime they are out to solve their differences both threaten the investigation and help pierce its mystery
A talk show host and his wife and son seem to be living an ideal life until clandestinely-filmed videotapes of their private lives start to show up on their front porch. As the tapes reveal more secrets, the resulting stress and fear leads to conflict, obsession, and deceit for the couple and brings back episodes from the husband's childhood when he wronged a young Algerian boy.
In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV's army to avoid a forced marriage to a local woman and finds himself trying to get out of sticky situations with an imposter fortune-teller, who has predicted that he will win the hand of Louis' daughter.
Loosely based on true episodes, this film tells the story of German, French, and Scottish soldiers in the bloody trenches of World War I and the Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge. Follows a French lieutenant, a Scottish priest, and a German tenor and his beloved Danish soprano as music and the spirit of Christmas create bonds between enemies
Montreal shrine seeks to inspire its congregants by modernizing its staging of the Passion play. A promising cast of vibrant young actors are signed on - one fresh from perfume commercials, another from the pornographic film industry, and another who had an affair with the basilica's priest - quickly drive the production on to become a smash hit. But as the play enjoys the success, the actors become more and more challenged to seperate their real lives from their lives onstage
The story of a remarkable child who, on the day he is born, embarks on a mission to rid his village of a sorceress. The sorceress has caused the local spring to dry up and has devoured all the men of the village. Based on traditional West African stories
Xavier is a strait-laced French college senior who moves to Barcelona as part of a student exchange program, much to the dismay of his beautiful girlfriend. But sharing cramped quarters with students from all over Europe quickly leads to multi-cultural chaos as Xavier gets an eye-opening lesson on how to live, love, laugh and party.
Dramatizes the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Recreates the tumultuous Algerian uprising against the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerian people demonstrate that they will no longer be suppressed.
In this classic tale of adventure, duty and honor conflict in a German prisoner-of-war camp when an aristocratic French officer becomes friends with the commandant while cooperating with his comrades in a daring escape.
Thrown into a political marriage of convenience by her ruthlessly power-hungry family, the beautiful Margot soon finds herself hopelessly drawn into their murderous affairs. It's then she realizes her only hope of escape lies somewhere between the heroic soldier who loves her and the enemy husband who could save her.
Cloaked in a comedy of manners, this scathing critique of corrupt French society is about a weekend hunting party at which amorous escapades abound among the aristocratic guests, which are also mirrored by the activities of the servants downstairs.
A dramatic retelling of the life of Edith Piaf, considered one of the great performers of France. Raised in a brothel, taken to work in a circus by her father, and eventually abandoned by her parents, she spent her teen years on the streets. Eventually "rescued" by a crime figure who gives her career a start, she makes her way to international success, despite recurring frailty, illness, wild moods, drug and alcohol problems.
In a provincial French town, a sophisticated schoolmistress avoids attachments but strikes up a congenial friendship with the charmingly passionate local butcher, a veteran of Indochina. As a serial killer spreads terror throughout the countryside, the effort of these two people to come back from their emotional islands to some kind of mutual understanding and reality builds from oblique tenderness and humor to shattering tragedy
In a twist on the old story of Westerners' encounters with African cultures, Le silence de la forêt focuses instead on what happens when a European-educated African interacts with the rainforest people incorrectly and pejoratively known as "pygmies" (who are more accurately called the Biaka). It is about the difficulty for even the most well-intentioned person to know and respect people of cultures so different from their own
INFO The Magdalen Islands is a nature lovers' paradise in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but the place loses some of its attraction during the interminable months of winter and spring. With the harsh change in weather, the islanders focus on surviving. Filmmaker Richard Lavoie invites us to discover the culture of the Magdalen islanders and paints a portarit of the contrast between traditional pursuits and pressures brought by seasonal tourism
Varda's most recent effort-- the first filmed with a digital videocamera-- focuses on gleaners, those who gather the spoils left after a harvest, as well as those who mine the trash. Some completely exist on the leavings; others turn them into art, exercise their ethics, or simply have fun. The director likens gleaning to her own profession-that of collecting images, stories, fragments of sound, light, and color.
Dramatizes the life of Congolese revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, who lead his country to independence from Belgium in 1960. He served for less than a year as the first elected prime minister, until he was brutally assassinated
Two Parisian sisters are caught in a web of dysfunctional relationships and romantic confusion. Odile, an upper-class wife and businesswoman, finds an escape from her submissive husband Claude when her old flame Nicholas unexpectedly returns. Camille, a naive tour guide, falls for the slimy, young realtor Marc, while overlooking Simon, a caring older man with a passion for history
Gilberte is happily married to Georges, a wealthy businessman who is unaware of his wife's previous marriage. Only Gilberte's unmarried sister, Arlette knows the truth. Then one day, Georges comes home and announces he's about to strike a deal with a fabulously wealthy American named Eric Thompson, who's on his way to Paris, and just happens to be Gilberte's ex-husband. Further complicating matters are family friend Huguette, who has a crush on Charley, who has been pursuing Gilberte ... resulting in a series of misunderstandings and farcical situations
In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family. Their long dream is realized when the hated Shah is defeated in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, Marji grows up to witness first hand how the new Iran has become a repressive tyranny on its own.
Frank's dad, a laborer, saved his whole life to give Frank a good education. Now back home with a college degree and a management job at his dad's company, Frank is torn between his old life and new responsibilities. Thinking he understands both sides, he gets in the middle of a union dispute that risks his reputation and his father's future.
The teenage life and adventures of young José, who lives in a shanty-town on Martinique in the mid-1930s, comprises the body of this film. José lives with his grandmother and is well aware of the French colonial presence. He gets into mischief, learns valuable lessons on living from an old former slave, drinks too much one time, and even sets fire to one of the run-down shanties. Regardless of his pranks, José never neglects his education
The complete collection of celebrated works by one of the most acclaimed animators of our time, Frédéric Back: The man who planted trees (30 min.); All nothing (11 min.); Crac! (15 min.); The mighty river (24 min.); Abracadabra (10 min.); Inon or the conquest of fire (10 min.); The creation of birds (10 min.); Illusion (12 min.); Taratata! (9 min.).
Last in a trilogy of films (Trois couleurs = Three colors) by director Krzysztof Kieslowski, White presents the mysterious tale of a man whose life disintegrates when his beautiful wife of six months deserts him. Forced to begin anew, he rebuilds his life, only to plan a dangerous scheme of vengeance against her
The film describes the work and reputations of the political and editorial cartoonists, Serge Chapleau and Aislin. For thirty years now, no Quebec politician has escaped the pen of these two cartoonists from La Presse and The Gazette. Two of their favorite scapegoats, Louise Beaudoin and Gilles Duceppe, respond on whether the cartoonists go too far. The film also spotlights their cartoons
Zan boko means "the place where the placenta is buried" and symbolizes the continuity between past and present in African village societies. Tells the story of one village swallowed up by one of Africa's large cities and the change from agrarian society to a mass media culture
Babette, a superb French chef, lives an anonymous life among a pious congregation on the desolate coast of Denmark. As housekeeper and cook to two elderly, religious women, she's never called on the prepare anything very exciting; until one day, she wins 10,000 francs and decides to spend it all by creating the most memorable meal ever consumed, even though her guests will have no idea what they're eating.
Set in French Indochina in the 1930s as the Vietnamese begin to rebel against French colonialism. Dramatizes the last years of French rule through the relationship between plantation owner Éliane, French by birth but born and raised in Indochina, and her adopted daughter Camille, an orphaned Annamese princess who becomes a Vietnamese revolutionary and representative at the Geneva Conference after having a child by French officer Jean-Baptiste, Éliane's past lover.
The story of Jean Cadoret, a hunchback who inherits a farm from his mother and foolishly hopes to become a gentleman farmer. But even before he arrives, his powerful neighbor is plotting to steal his land. The ending is heartbreak and tragedy for Jean who is no match for his wily neighbor.
Mystery drama about murder in a private school for boys. The wife and the mistress of a tyrannical headmaster dispose of him, only to be mystified by the disappearance of his body and ghostly hints of his presence.
Ten years have passed since the tragic events of Jean de Florette. Jean's daughter Manon, now a beautiful young sherpardess in the nearby hills, appears to accuse the Soubeyrans of killing her father. Tragedy results before César, the neighbor who destroyed Jean, learns the truth of his actions.
Sent to live with her relatives, Ponette experiences the hopes, dreams and fears of a child following the loss of a parent. Ultimately, it is her faith, love and strength of character that enable Ponette to triumphantly overcome her tragedy.
Betty and Victor are scam artists who up until now had been content with small scams at hotel conventions, such as spiking the drink of a gambler, then rolling him for his winnings. However, without telling Victor, Betty has been plotting an enormous score involving the treasurer of an international corporation, who's planning to abscond with a briefcase containing five million Swiss francs in syndicate money.
Nelly is a disheartened young Parisian with marriage and financial troubles. Introduced to the wealthy Arnaud by a mutual friend, Nelly agrees to assist him in his memoirs. The unlikely couple initially develop a playful flirtation, but their budding relationship is threatened when Nelly becomes involved with Arnaud's charming editor.
After the death of his mother, a middle-aged bachelor makes major changes in his life, buys a fancy country home outside of Geneva after taking a leave from his job, and invites his co-workers to an all-day housewarming party there. Once they are all there at this fancy estate, away from the office, all kinds of inhibitions break down as the party goes on. Employees flirt, arguments get started, and one party-goer does an impromptu striptease. It takes the butler hired for the occasion to get things (both the party and the party-goers) back in order.
Based on a true story, Daens tells the powerful and human story of one man's courage to defend his beliefs. When Father Daens spoke out against the miserable working conditions in the factories he found himself in a head-to-head battle with church officials, businessmen and the monarchy all trying to destroy his reputation. Daens, once elected to Parliament to represent the workers, risked everything to succeed.
Films On Demand provides educational videos and performances in online streaming format. There are three subject categories relevant to French studies. Some of the content here is in French, and some of those include English subtitles.